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Over the last years, Amazon has become a cesspool of copycat products, or nearly-identical whitelabel items branded with various (typically Chinese) manufacturer names. In an ironic example, both "Cresimo 10-Inch Stainless Steel Cocktail Muddler and Mixing Spoon with Cocktail Recipes" and "10" Cocktail Muddler & Mixing Spoon - Make Flavour Bursting Cocktails With Ease - Arctic Chill! (1, 0.5 LB)" boast in their typo-riddled product description,

All [X] products come with a lifetime guarantee, don't buy cheap alternatives!

How can one find the original products on Amazon, or other online retailers, in cases where brands aren't well-established? (This is much easier for electronics)

closed as off-topic by Zeiss Ikon, L.B., Willeke, Chenmunka, Adam Mar 23 '17 at 0:30

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Check the number of customer ratings, and the percentage of positive ratings for the seller. If the seller has a low number of ratings, or a less-than-great percentage of positive ratings (Amazon warns FBA sellers if their positive rating is less than 96%), then there is less certainty that they might have issues including copycat products.

Of course, some sellers have good ratings and are still selling copycats. Check the descriptions, negative seller feedback, and low-star product reviews to see if there are signs or complaints about copycat products.

You can also contact a seller and ask them about the product.

Finally, accept that there is a chance it may be a copycat and be ready to ask for a refund if it is.

  • The problem is you can't even claim the product is copycat. In my example with the muddlers, who knows what the original white-label brand is, that each reseller has rebranded as their own. – Dan Dascalescu Mar 20 '17 at 9:33
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While researching this matter, I found a useful tool, Fakespot. It analyzes reviews and offers a trustworthiness grade (A-F) based on a "company grade", looking for reviews that mention a product exchange for reviews, and other review aspects like:

✓ Reviewer account looks to be generated by automation

✓ Correlation with other fake reviewers' profile data and language.

✓ Overwhelming amount of positive reviews

✓ Has done a total of 5 reviews for the same company

✓ Extremely positive reviews for a singular company

✓ Large number of reviews created on the same date.

Now Fakespot itself looks a little shady, given that their About page says nothing about who's running the joint. But they have been covered by relatively reputable press and do link to the full press articles. I've also found some products that were shown analysis results for a different product.

They also made a Chrome extension.

Another useful feature is "Find me a product with better reviews". This doesn't always find related products though, so you're better off searching Trustwerty (made by the same folks as Fakespot?) for the product you want. Surprisingly better than Amazon's search at surfacing highly-rated items that are otherwise drowned by the Chinese junk.

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